Lookit is growing! We are now showing links to outside studies along with those happening here on Lookit. Use the tabs above to see activities you can do right now, or scheduled activities you can sign up for.

Please note you'll need a laptop or desktop computer (not a mobile device) running Chrome or Firefox to participate, unless a specific study says otherwise.

Scene and Heard!

Lab for the Developing Mind (New York University)

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For babies ages 11.5 to 13.5 months. Because the study has a language component, there should be a native English speaker in the home.

What happens

In this study, your child will watch several videos of one kind of scene (like an indoor scene) labeled with a made-up word. Then, another example of that type of scene will be presented side-by-side with a new kind of scene (like a field). Your child might also see scrambled scenes. We use these to see how much a scene’s structure — versus its colors and textures alone — might help babies to categorize it.

We’re interested in whether language draws babies’ attention to the information that differs between different kinds of scenes. Babies tend to look longer at things they find interesting, so we will measure how long your child looks at each scene to see if they find one more interesting than the other.

Purpose

From very early on, we start naming different kinds of objects for our children, like spoons, bottles, or chairs. Naming different examples of the same kind of object with the same word can help children form categories of objects that all have the same shape or function. Can naming the different kinds of scenes that we encounter in everyday life also help babies learn about scene categories? This study aims to address this question.

Help Lulu Learn about Us!

CALC (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)

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For 6- and 8-year-olds. Each child may only participate in this study once.

What happens

Your child will help an alien friend, Lulu, in learning about Earth. They will see different amounts of blueberries; sometimes, they will be asked to pick the bowl that has more berries, other times they will predict which bowl someone else will choose.

Purpose

Children have an intuitive sense of number, for example, when they see 10 vs. 5 blueberries, they can tell which has more without counting. But what do they think about other people's and animals' ability to estimate quantities? To find out, we ask children to guess whether or not different humans and animals are able to distinguish different amounts of blueberries. This study will help us understand how children intuitively reason about others' abilities, and will more generally help us better understand where our thoughts about all kinds of creatures come from.

Does your baby know what you are thinking?

Essex Babylab (University of Essex)

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For 18-month-olds (+/- 15 days)

What happens

In this study, your baby will be watching some videos showing a person with either a true belief or a false belief about a situation for a couple of minutes. We will ask you (the parent) to help us live-code your baby's looking by pressing a key on your keyboard. Please only use the Firefox browser when participating in this study.

Purpose

With this research, we want to study if babies are already able from a very young age to understand that other people may have different beliefs about a situation than the baby himself/herself. This cognitive ability is well documented in adults and is called Theory of Mind. This study uses a new method to see if Theory of Mind is present around 18 months of age. This is also the first study asking parents to help live-code their babies' looking.

Do babies learn more from surprise?

CALC (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)

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For babies age 9 to 15 months. Each child may only participate in this study once.

What happens

In this study, your baby will watch videos of different events: sometimes the objects will move in possible ways (such as a ball stopped by a wall), other times the objects will move in impossible ways (such as a ball passing through a wall). We are interested in whether babies can detect the surprising event and better remember facts about the objects that behaved in impossible ways.

Purpose

Babies naturally look longer at things that are new or surprising. Do they find these events interesting because they are particularly good learning opportunities? And if so, do babies treat surprising events seen on a screen the same way as in real life? We address this question by looking at how babies respond to surprising vs. expected events from realistic videos. We are particularly interested in how babies' experience with media influences their learning from this virtual setup. Findings from this study will tell us more about what drives babies' curiosity and how babies learn in general.

Ready, Set, Emotion!

KU Baby Lab (University of Kansas)

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For babies 3 or 7 months old in the US - with parents using Firefox

What happens

We will be showing babies pictures of faces posing happiness, fear, and anger to see if they detect emotional expressions compared to a neutral expression. Some of the pictures will be presented very quickly. Adults are able to detect emotional faces very rapidly, in as little as 17ms! In this study, we will record your baby as he/she looks at very briefly presented facial expressions on the computer. We will use your recording to see when your baby looks to the emotional face location. We want to see if they are able to detect where and when an emotional face is presented.

Purpose

As babies grow, they are always watching and learning from your face-to-face interactions. By the end of the first year, infants understand what facial expression goes with what emotion (for example, smiles mean that you are happy). But before they can learn the meaning of emotional expressions, their visual system must first be able to detect an emotional expression is present. This study will help us understand how quickly babies detect emotional expressions, something they first must be able to do before understanding the difference between emotional expressions.

Baby Number Sense 2 for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Infants

Infant and Child Cognition Lab (Boston College)

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For babies ages 5 to 11 months with hearing loss who reside in the US or Canada. Each participant can only participate in this study once. Participants who have participated in the first study "Baby Number Sense" (https://is.gd/babynumbersense) are welcome to participate in this study as well.

What happens

Prior to beginning the study, parents will first be asked some questions about your baby's hearing and language experiences. During the study, your baby will see two sets of circles on the screen – one on the left and one on the right. The circles will appear and disappear, with the number of circles on one side changing and the number of circles on the other side always staying the same. Your baby will then see colored squares appearing and disappearing.

Purpose

In this study we are going to learn more about your baby’s sense of numbers. Imagine you are trying to find a parking spot in a crowded lot. After looking to the left, then to the right, you instinctually know that one side has fewer cars without even counting. This ability is actually thought to be the foundation to counting and learning about numbers. We know babies also have this ability, and this study will help us learn whether early language experiences shape this.

Babies' Attention to Different Races

Infant Learning & Development Laboratory (University of Chicago)

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For babies ages 4-6 months who were born at full term (37+ weeks) and have not participated in this study before.

What happens

Your child will watch videos of people varying in race/ethnicity. They will be presented side-by-side, either in silence or grasping a toy. We will measure how long your child looks at these videos. We will ask you (the parent) to turn around, close your eyes, or look down to avoid influencing your child's responses. We will also ask you to fill out a demographic survey and answer a few optional questions about your neighborhood.

Purpose

While younger infants usually prefer to look at familiar-race faces relative to unfamiliar-race faces, older infants tend to display an opposite preference. In this study, we are investigating whether these age-related differences persist across a range of races/ethnicities, and how babies’ experience with people from different races/ethnicities influences their attentional preferences. We are also interested in studying how the type of stimuli presented (e.g., still pictures vs. actions) influences babies’ selective attention based on race/ethnicity, with the aim of better understanding the function of these attentional biases.

Who is this? - 7mo

Infant and Child Development Center (Northwestern University)

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For babies aged 7.0 to 8.5 months who learn English as their first language and who reside in the United States

What happens

In this study, your baby will watch a short video filled with cute, stuffed animals and hear names for these animals (like "dax"). Your baby will later see these named animals next to new animals that haven't been named. We will then check which animal your baby chooses to look at more.

Purpose

We are interested in how well babies remember which objects they have seen, and whether they remember better if the object (like a particular dog) was given its own name. Babies pay close attention to what we say to them even before they can produce their own words, and this tells us that how we name objects for them can already guide how they think about these objects.

Should I learn from you?

Infant Learning & Development Laboratory (University of Chicago)

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For babies ages 17-19 months who were born at full term (37+ weeks) and hear English at home

What happens

Your child will watch several short videos of a person playing with toys and naming them. At the end, your child will see pairs of toys while a word is played. The word will match just one of the toys. We want to see which toy your baby chooses to look at!

Purpose

Most of what infants learn they learn from others. Here, we study if infants treat all information input equally. Do they prefer to learn from an unfamiliar adult who acts irrationally, or an unfamiliar adult who performs conventional and efficient actions? Your child will see a person who either reaches for a toy using an efficient movement or using an unnecessary and inefficient action. We will compare how they learn from an efficient person relative to an inefficient person. This research will help us to understand the development of a fundamental human skill: acquiring information that we consider culturally relevant.

What's counting for babies? 2.0

CALC (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)

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For babies age 14 to 19 months.

What happens

In this study, your baby will watch different numbers of toys being pointed at and labeled in different ways (such as "one, two, three" or "this, this, this"). We are interested in how babies react to different types of activities that resemble counting. This is a new version of "What's counting for babies" - your child can participate in both if eligible! You will need a high chair or stroller for this study.

Purpose

Babies hear count words as early as a few months of age. But do babies know that counting is about quantity? And if so, what about counting (e.g., does it have to be "one, two, three"?) draws babies' attention to quantity? Your baby's reaction to our "counting" videos will tell us what types of activities draw babies’ attention to quantities, and will ultimately help scientists understand where our concept of counting comes from.

Looking for more ways to contribute to research from home? Check out Children Helping Science for even more studies!